Urgent need to create a pipeline for women leaders

In recent years, the call for improved gender representation in leadership positions has gained momentum, and rightly so. However, the significance of having women in leadership goes beyond mere representation, says Juliette Fourie, managing director of Metro Minds.

“Research and data suggest that having more women leaders can be a game-changer for businesses and their financial performance. McKinsey research recently highlighted that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the bottom. Plus, research from academics from the universities of Glasgow and Leicester showed that companies with more than 30% female executives were more likely to outperform companies that don’t. In 2023, women CEOs are heading up 10% of Fortune 500 companies for the first time in history. This is undoubtedly an important milestone. But it also underscores the need for more women at all levels of leadership,” she says.

Despite this, women’s representation in the freight industry remains historically low, particularly in roles such as truck drivers, freight handlers and other operational positions. Women continue to face barriers to entry and advancement in the field. Fourie says some advances have been made to improve gender diversity in recent years, but representation in many segments remains disproportionately low. “The lack of female representation can be attributed to various factors, including perceived physical demands, workplace culture, family and lifestyle considerations, and lack of mentors,” she says.

According to Fourie, it is essential that companies introduce programmes to increase women’s representation. “At Metro Minds, our workshops and programmes are aligned to cater for women in leadership roles and build a new generation of women leaders. There are currently wonderful success stories in the industry, and many organisations are good at promoting female leadership.” She says the freight industry must recognise the importance of gender diversity and actively work towards creating an inclusive and equitable workplace for all employees. In particular, there is an urgent need to create a pipeline for women leaders.

New degree course elevates professionalism in the industry

For the first time in history, the South African clearing and forwarding sector has access to a Bachelor of Commerce in Freight Forwarding and Customs Compliance. Metro Minds, as an associate faculty of the Da Vinci Institute, will be leading the elective stream for the business school.

According to Metro Minds managing director Juliette Fourie, the company has invested heavily in this new offering that will see them run the freight forwarding and customs compliance modules of the degree.“The course specifically focuses on applying skills to navigate the seamless movement, clearance, handling, storage and distribution of goods in the supply chain. Skills and knowledge include systems thinking, agility and entrepreneurship and creativity, translating into making better decisions, solving problems, and thinking critically,” said Fourie. The course includes ten elective modules that range from the international trade environment, freight operations, customs compliance operations and operation management to customs management, logistics management, risk and insurance management, commercial management and digital management.

Speaking to Freight News, Fourie said the course would also include practical application in collaboration with industry.“Another development at Metro Minds has been the ongoing focus on simulation of industry qualifications to enable work readiness and talent development into the industry,” she said. “This is aligned to cater for the skills of the future in the form of digital literacy, communication, creativity, innovation, problem-solving and critical thinking.” With this in mind, Metro Minds launched the pilot Supply Chain Simulation in Cape Town recently. This simulation utilises practical real-life experiences.

Another development that will also impact positively on industry is the development of Smart Minds – an interactive online learning platform designed to empower individuals to build knowledge, skills, and experiences. “All the courses are impactful and practical, with quizzes, videos, and exciting articles to expand and test your knowledge,” explained Fourie, highlighting the importance of practical experience for the forwarding and clearing sector. “The Smart Minds courses are diverse, including various topics ranging from personal development to human skills, life skills and industry-specific hard skills. The main aim is to optimise learning in the shortest amount of time, cost-effectively, with a memorable and fun experience.”

These courses have also been created with affordability in mind. “This is ideal for self-development, and creating a learning culture for a team.” Fourie said another aspect that continued to be developed at Metro Minds for industry was leadership development. “Our Leading Minds product is focused on personalised and customised leadership frameworks created and developed as per business strategy and needs. It is a three-tier framework starting off with potential leaders, existing leaders and then senior leaders. Leadership is a differentiating factor in any organisation and should be a first priority as part of talent management and capacity building.”

Incoterms 2020 Refresher (INCR)

Freight Related

A refresher on the importance of understanding the cost & risk of each trade transaction in the logistics environment.

SAQA Unit Standards

252437 Interpret and apply International commercial terms. Level 3 Credits 3.

Who you will learn from

An industry and subject matter expert who’ll guide you through your course content, and answer any subject matter questions you might have.

  • Role players – seller, buyer, bank, ports, customs, freight forwarder, clearing agent, governments etc.
  • International Commercial Terms: Incoterms® 2020 – importance of understanding the cost & risk of each trade transaction in the logistics environment.
  • The definition of the precise point at which the seller of goods in international trade “delivers” those goods to the buyer.
  • Explaining the duties & obligations of the seller & the buyer respectively with regard to the movement of goods and their responsibilities, risks and costs.
  • Definitions: EXW, FCA, FAS, FOB, CFR, CIF, CPT, CIP, DPU, DAP, DDP.
  • Usage of correct Incoterm for Air, Sea, Road.
  • Visual simulation of each incoterm.
  • Visual simulation of different trade transaction.
  • Visual simulation of decisions made as a buyer, seller or freight forwarder in different scenarios.

Additional Info:
NQF Level: 3
Credits: 3

Learning Methodologies:
MethodCodeDur.Price *
BlendedINCRHalf day950.00

*All prices are excluding VAT.

Contact training@metrominds.co.za
for group pricing

Introduction to Supply Chain (ISCM)

Demonstrate an understanding of what logistics is and draw a logistics system and then analyse it to identify areas where improved performance and/or integration can enhance the effectiveness of the total supply chain.

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Estimate Essentials (EST)

Demonstrate an understanding of the process of estimates, quotations, and landed costings. The outcomes focus on import and export processes linked to the costing of each step and the role players involved. Calculating the different charges related to road, rail, air, and sea freight and according to the Incoterm ® 2020 chosen for the shipment.

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Customs Act it Out (CAIO)

A module that gives an approach to consolidate and extend their knowledge of using the Customs & Excise Act 91 of 1964 to understand and apply the Various Customs Valuation Methods to calculate Customs Duties.

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Customs Compliance Advanced (CUSA)

A module that gives an approach to consolidate and extend their knowledge of using the Customs & Excise Act 91 of 1964 to understand and apply the Various Customs Valuation Methods to calculate Customs Duties.

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Finance in Freight (FIF)

Demonstrate an understanding of the basic financial statements to analyse financials and prepare budget information. Apply skills to develop a business plan for a business unit and understand the role of a business strategy in managing a business unit or small business.

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Modes of Transport Essentials: Ocean, Air and Road (MOT)

Looking at ocean freight, air freight, and road freight as modes of transport and focusing on documentation, types of carriers, chargeable weight calculations, containerisation, types of services, and common charges of all modes. Looking at different types of containerisations, specification of packing, packaging, marking, and labelling. Basic overview of hazardous cargo classes, packing groups, UN numbers and documentation required.

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